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Old 05-12-02, 10:20 AM   #1
oceanrider
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Angels were watching out for me today

I just got my new hybrid 3 days ago. Anyway, I rode my usual route to church early this morning from the beach to the mainland over the Hillsborough bridge. It was Sunday early and there was no traffic so I was flying down. No less than 4 minutes later when I came to a level stop at a light, the handlebar completely loosened from the stem. It didn't take more than a split second for me to realize how fortunate I am that it didn't happen just seconds earlier when I was coming down the bridge. What a wipeout that would have been. Not being a bike mechanic, I'm taking it back to the LBS where I purchased it tomorrow and tell the story and make them check and tighten every joint where safety is an issue. No big rides today and no bridges.

Kathy
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Old 05-12-02, 10:29 AM   #2
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Hi oceanrider, glad to hear you're OK after the near miss. While you're at the LBS, who should be thoroughly chastened to hear what nearly happened, get them to show you what can come loose and what they're checking, so you'll be able to check yourself before riding.
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Old 05-12-02, 11:24 AM   #3
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That must be one of the scariest things that can happen while riding. I read about a guy out on a long ride (including descents with speeds above 60 kph) who had a similar experience. He came to a traffic light after about 100k, and when he stopped the stem cracked.

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Old 05-12-02, 12:07 PM   #4
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I was once riding my old mtb (which had a quil stem) and had just finished a kinda techinal trail and was heading home using side streets, as I went to bunny hop onto a sidewalk the stem decided to come out but no worries, I was going slow and just ditched the bike and came out without a scratch. anyhow just goes to show a pre ride inspection can be a life saver
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Old 05-12-02, 12:29 PM   #5
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I had a mild collision with an automobile.

After checking myself over, I said I was OK and road off. One block later, my stem snapped in half. Fortunately, I didn't have any speed going.

I know the awe of being saved just barely by the grace of God.
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Old 05-12-02, 12:58 PM   #6
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Mike, you hit the nail on the head. I can't put into words the awe I felt and still do. I don't normally go around being Joe superChristian, but I am a praying sort. This morning it occurred to me I hadn't properly put the new bike and our adventures together in God's hands and so I did. The near miss happened within 20 minutes of that prayer. A nice cycling couple who was casually riding by stopped with tools and tightened the bolt so I could ride home.

You know, I trusted the LBS to do the job well. You plop down lots of bucks for quality craftsmanship and components and think you're home free. Never did it occur to me to even think that anything could be wrong with the set up. Yet, it's just when you ride a new bike out of the shop that one probably has to be the most on guard. I need to learn how to do a basic inspection and get a set of my own tools and learn how to use them.

Kathy who rides with de fishes
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Old 05-12-02, 01:33 PM   #7
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If I were you, I'd be screaming bloody murder at that shop! You should demand, in the loudest possible voice, that they check each and every bolt for proper tightness while you watch! It's obvious that they were grossly negligent in assembling your bike, and, at the very least, they owe you a huge apology. They should also fire the moron that assembled your bike!
Needless to say, I wouldn't patronise that shop ever again. They must be idiots.
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Old 05-12-02, 02:02 PM   #8
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Having worked at a bikeshop, I concur with Alex. We would never let a bike go out the door without checking the tightness of everything, particularly handlebar stem, front wheel, and saddle. Complain to the manager or owner that at least one of his mechanics is potentially criminally negligent. If the next victim is not as lucky (and reasonable) as you, he could lose the whole shop in an expensive lawsuit.
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Old 05-12-02, 08:25 PM   #9
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Whole thing reminds me of an incident in my car years ago...

Less than 1 mile from home, I cross a bridge in my neighborhood that has a small bump. As I hit the bump, my car goes, "clump," drops down in front and stops.

A Macpherson strut had come apart, causing the total loss of the right front wheel/suspension. Seems the muffler place that sold me new struts had stripped the threads holding the strut in place. The whole thing failed, dropping me on the pavement at 30 mph.

If I'd been going 65, I'd have been kissing angels instead of thanking them.

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Old 05-12-02, 08:54 PM   #10
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Oceanrider - I'm glad too hear that you are okay. God's graces are many indeed. That being said, the LBS shouldn't have even let the bike out the door without checking every bolt.

A good quick spot test, is to pick the bike up just 2 inches or so, and bounce it kinda on it's tires - it makes sure the tires on on tightly and if anything jiggles you'll be able to fix it before getting out on the road. Always check tire pressure before a ride. Spin the tires to see if the tire is centered, or if it is leaning one way or the other, and to make sure nothing is catching in the spokes.

Keep riding and enjoying your hybrid.
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Old 05-12-02, 10:49 PM   #11
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"Big Bucks" doesn't assure safety.

You can grump at the bike shop if it makes you feel better. THey sure deserve it.

Ultimately, you own safety is in your own hands. Check everything yourself.

This is just another good reason to learn bike maintanance and do it yourself.

When I get a bike (of course, they are almost all used), I take them completely apart - every nut and bolt and bearing - check each part, clean, lubricate, and re-assemble. If I hear a squeek or rattle, I usually know exactly where it is coming from.

I wouldn't ride a new bike without checking it either.
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Old 05-13-02, 07:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by mike
Ultimately, you own safety is in your own hands. Check everything yourself.

This is just another good reason to learn bike maintanance and do it yourself. ...

I wouldn't ride a new bike without checking it either.
Spot-on! Mike gets the award for the best advice in the thread.

The few times I have accepted delivery on an automobile, I have driven the dealers crazy by conducting my own tyre pressure, vital fluids, etc. inspection before driving it off the lot.
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